Can you walk me through your writing process?
My writing process varies for fiction vs poetry, but I tend to be more of an organic/ unplanned writer. I see a picture, experience something, and am drawn to either singular details or, often, questions. Going out for a walk or going out in general tends to stir up these creative ideas and help me process them. When I actually write, I try my best to freely write without worrying about revisions ahead of time. I find this is the best way for me to be a productive writer.
Can you discuss your experience with writing poetry?
I used to only consider myself a fiction writer, never read poetry, and certainly never imagined writing it. In college, I took a creative writing survey class where we had a unit on poetry. The irony is the unit I dreaded most became the one that impacted me the most. I eventually took a few other courses in poetry, started to write it several times a week to nearly daily, and, of course, read a variety of poets. Now, I have more poetry published than in any other genre.
Who are some poets or writers that have influenced your work?
Claudia Rankine, Charles Baudelaire, Maya Angelou, Ocean Vuong, Margaret Atwood, Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot- just to name a few poets
How does your approach to writing about personal loss differ from other themes in your poetry?
I honestly don’t think my approach to loss is any different. I really enjoy juxtaposing loss with memories, imagery, and using poetry to process and make sense of things in ways ordinary conversation cannot.
In what ways does poetry serve as a medium for expressing the complex emotions surrounding the loss of a person, and what impact do you hope it has on readers who may relate to similar experiences?
It really depends on the reader. But I think there’s some truth that most of us cannot adequately express even the concept of loss in everyday life. Poetry uses language not to dictate or even solve, but to weave together a tapestry of words that serve as a tribute. Poetry allows us to process and feel our emotions are nothing to be ashamed of- nor even something that has to be directly labeled.
What do you hope readers take away from your poetry when it comes to understanding and navigating the complexities of loss in its various forms?
Loss is something that we all experience- and healing doesn’t look a certain way. Often, it’s through facing those complexities of loss that we are better able to understand what that loss means for us.